Action Comics #1032 Review By Andrew Flood
Written by: Phillip Kennedy Johnson (Superman), Becky Cloonan & Michael W. Conrad (Midnighter)
Art: Daniel Sampere (Superman), Michael Avon Oeming (Midnighter)
Colours: Adriano Lucas (Superman), Taki Soma (Midnighter)
Letters: Dave Sharpe (Superman & Midnighter)
Storm swept seas are the stage for a titanic battle on this issue’s cover. Mikel Janin has produced another excellent cover here, with both Superman and Aquaman really popping against the backdrop of their gargantuan foes.
Once inside, we rejoin the story inside the Fortress of Solitude, where Supergirl and Lois continue to unravel the mystery of the refugees. Along with Superman, they try to talk to one of the survivors and reassure her. These scenes show some of the strong empathy and kindness which make these characters both endearing and relatable. Meanwhile, events take a more sinister turn in Atlantis as the mystery shard is investigated, leading to a huge crisis and hinting at more terrible things to come.
While Superman is paying a visit to another member of the Justice League requesting help, they hear of a new threat (resulting from the events in Atlantis). A spectacular and truly epic battle ensues, during which Superman uncovers more pieces of the puzzle. An unexpected arrival in the wake of this battle leads to hints of even further strife in the future.
The pacing of this issue is once again superb and keeps us turning the page, eager to find out what happens next. Phillip Kennedy Johnson shows great command of dialogue throughout, particularly during the scenes involving the refugee. As his story reveals answers to some of our questions, we also encounter new enigmas and are left wondering what our heroes will face next.
Dave Sharpe provides lettering for both stories and his work is on point once again, ensuring that our reading experience is effortless and clear.
The interior art from Daniel Sampere and colours from Adriano Lucas are just as striking as the cover and deliver page after page of spectacle. There are some huge moments in this issue, and they are executed with style.
Meanwhile, the backup story centred on The Midnighter conveys its own sense of style, with impressive art from Michael Avon Oeming and bold colours from Taki Soma. There’s some really inventive panel layouts, with visual elements recalling some of the weird machinery dreamt up by Jack Kirby in his art. All of this serves an intricate plot and scenes of stark contrast as Midnighter struggles to escape an infinite time travel loop and the machinations of Trojan. The writers (Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad) guide us from a thoughtfully written discussion of relationships between Midnighter and Trojan through to scenes of cold disconnect as we witness some of the horrors wrought by our bad guy. Once again, this creative team really deliver.
This issue of Action Comics is full of the great things that make superhero comics so much fun to read. There are incredible scenes and exchanges which fuel the imagination and keep us coming back for more. This title is proving to be a great ‘gateway’ comic which offers a lot for those wanting to read more about some of the DC heroes they know from cinema and TV. That we get two excellent stories each time makes this one really easy to recommend.
(Suggested ages 13+ by DC)
Review by Andy Flood, 29/6/21